Jump to content


Photo

Ultra Realism Possibilities?


  • Please log in to reply
369 replies to this topic

#51 AtariThief

AtariThief

    Member

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 68 posts

Posted 20 May 2005 - 02:29 PM

Risk is part of the game if you want to be a Thief.
There should be some non-preparable events, but none that immideatly "DOOM" you. "Pun!!" Events change and so should your strategy. A creaky floor board should be at least noticable, but and unprepared visit by extra guards or a new Mechanist visit that put in a new alarm sytem is an un-prepared for event. Things should be noticable, but keep some surprise! :)

#52 sparhawk

sparhawk

    Repository Manager

  • Active Developer
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 21776 posts

Posted 20 May 2005 - 04:08 PM

This "We should reward the player for planning" is blabla IMO. Nobody except a few will really sit there and watch exactly the timing. Since we planned to insert some random actions, the timing will never work out anyway. Any AI shoud NEVER take exactly 12 seconds and 324 miliseconds for a complete route loop. If it does we failed. Making the AI believable as humans is the goal, not to make them calulatable automatons. In this light creaking floarboards are just another set of obstacles that a mapper can use. There was no talk about random creaking over the whole floor. The FM designer should set creakable boards and it's the risk of a Thief to screw up becuase of such things. You don't create believable gameworlds by making everything predictable like a clockwork, quite the opposite.
Gerhard

#53 Drakon

Drakon

    Member

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 47 posts

Posted 20 May 2005 - 04:11 PM

I still wonder if everyone is understanding me correctly... I'm not saying make every wooden floor in the game creaky.

Guards you can see, watch their actions and plan your own actions strategically. You know that if you wait for a guard to go around a corner before you move, they can't possibly take a random look back and see you because you're blocked by geometry. It's a situation with a definite optimum solution, you just have to figure out the guard patrols and time it right and you "win" that little situation.


Yes... you can also know that once they walk a certain distance away, it should be safe to try out the noisy floor. If its not noisy, all the better. If it is, then we know not to cross that floor when someone is near.

For creaky boards you would have no warning at all to plan around. It's a no win situation, which do occur in real life, but are not fun in a game.


You don't have warning to plan around if a guard decides to randomly turn around either. Though, seeing as how most AI's simply do the same thing over and over again, theres a lot of randomness gone if you've watched them for a long time. (Kind of takes the thrill out of sneaking around, doesn't it?)

We want to reward the player for calculating risks and choosing a strategy to avoid those risks. Wood floors are a little too common in the game to make them a potential risk without any other warning other than "it's wood" and hope to retain any sort of fun.


I prefer the "reward" to be the thrill of being sneaky. Risks are necessary for that thrill. Trying to avoid the risks are fine as well, and the mapmakers should make options for both. With everything under the player's control, it becomes pac man with ghosts that run the same path over and over again and nice scenery.

What about the T2 missions where the entire floor of most of the building is wood? Would that have been fun if at any place you could conceivably step there would be a sudden creak unless you moved at some new "check each board with your front foot and take 1 step every 20 seconds" speed that's even slower than a crouch-creep?


No, that wouldn't be fun. But, if the mapmaker wants to cover the entire map with creaky spots, thats his choice. No one is gonna like the map, but oh well. I hope no map maker makes a map with wood floors commonplace AND creaky floors on all of them. Non-creaky wood floors are fine, but I'd prefer to see creaky spots as thrillmakers rather than speedbumps; the little things in the game that throw off your plan and force some fast thinking. A challenge.

If, however, the mapmaker wishes to use lots of wood floors, and creaky floors in certain areas, careful placement of the creaky spots would be necessary.

What if it were made into a skill option? Toggle noise spots(creaky floors, dried leaves on sidewalks, twigs and sticks in the forest, broken glass) on/off?
(I, personally, dislike the idea)

Edited by Drakon, 20 May 2005 - 04:17 PM.


#54 Pyrian

Pyrian

    Member

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 49 posts

Posted 20 May 2005 - 05:31 PM

I still wonder if everyone is understanding me correctly...

They are. You're the one whom the point sailed over. To whit:

I'm not saying make every wooden floor in the game creaky.

Nobody claimed you were. However, if any wooden floor can potentially be creaky, then all wooden floors must be treated as potentially creaky until proven otherwise.

In a level with a lot of wooden floors, this is tedious, even if none of them are creaky.

What about the T2 missions where the entire floor of most of the building is wood? Would that have been fun if at any place you could conceivably step there would be a sudden creak unless you moved at some new "check each board with your front foot and take 1 step every 20 seconds" speed that's even slower than a crouch-creep?

No, that wouldn't be fun. But, if the mapmaker wants to cover the entire map with creaky spots, thats his choice. No one is gonna like the map, but oh well. I hope no map maker makes a map with wood floors commonplace AND creaky floors on all of them.

And in this instance you can actually hear the whooshing sound as the point completely escapes you.

#55 Drakon

Drakon

    Member

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 47 posts

Posted 20 May 2005 - 06:34 PM

Nobody claimed you were. However, if any wooden floor can potentially be creaky, then all wooden floors must be treated as potentially creaky until proven otherwise.


I see what you're saying. Though, I still have no problem with it, I see where many would. But, I think creaky boards could still be put in without being too random and frustrating. It would be no fun to go at a snails pace through a map to avoid making noise that may or may not happen.

This is where I said last time in different words, "So just go faster, chance the noise. If you make some and get spotted, run and enjoy the chase. Enjoy the challenge of rethinking your plans whilst escaping the ruins of your last one alive. I would. Of course, having to do this 20 times in one mission would completely SUCK, which is why I'm liking my latest thinking more. But, I'm not everyone, so here's the idea, plus lots of examples.

It would be up to the mapper to "ease the tension" and let one freely move through the map without worry of thousands of random factors messing up your game.
In Doom(especially 3), all rooms were to be treated as if monsters could spawn in anywhere. It was commonplace, and you didn't have to move at a snails pace expecting monsters to come at you from nowhere, because the game was designed to go with the hordes of monsters. Thief, however, was not designed around hordes of monsters. You could be rest assured that swarms of guards would not spawn in behind you. However, mappers COULD do this. But they usually don't, so no one creeps from room to room expecting to be overrun by monsters. (Except for me and probably others, in The Cradle in Thief III)
If the mapper has a special situation, however, where a monster DOES get teleported in, such as looting the pirate ship in T2, its their responsibilty to make sure it is done well. While I wasn't expecting things to teleport in at me, I was expecting SOMETHING to happen. Gave me a little escape scene.

In a similar sense, mappers shouldn't place creaky floors in a very well made room where the entire floor but one board is silent. This sort of thing can happen in real life, but this is the situation I think would really annoy people.

The entire floor of an rickety, abandoned looking house may not be creaky, but you can expect a few boards to creak due to the shoddy nature of the house.
You can also expect a sturdy, non-creaking floor in a well maintained home, and these are the places were creaky floors do not belong unless there IS some manner of nearby visual clue or auditory clue, such guard walking across it.

In the same way,
You can also expect guards to come running, traps to be sprung, and all manner of bad, currently undetectable things to happen when you take the large gem off of the pedestal in the middle of the room in the large, opulent mansion.
You wouldn't, however, expect a whole lot to happen if you open the box in some peasants basement.

Creaky floors shouldn't have to be something to constantly worry about on every wooden floor. With some common sense and good mapmaking, you should usually be able to see a creaky floor in the same way you can see an ambush or a trap. I'd love to see the rare occasion where a very well hidden creak can throw me out of my strategy, but they should be far more rare. As I said above, having to escape and come up with a new strategy 20 times in one map will get old fast.

#56 Ishtvan

Ishtvan

    Programmer

  • Development Role
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 14860 posts

Posted 20 May 2005 - 06:42 PM

I agree with the point Pyrian just made about how if some of the wooden floors are creaky, you have to assume all of them are creaky because you have no way of knowing if there is no visible warning. Let's try to keep the conversation civil though. :)

@Sparhawk: I for one sit there and watch the timing of patrols when I'm ghosting, and I think a lot of other people do as well. Not everyone runs around KO'ing everyone. :)

Even with AI randomness added in (which I am all for btw), it gives an approximate indication of when you should move, giving you a better chance than if you didn't pay attention at all and just ran around everywhere hoping not to run into a guard. Having boards that squeak with no warning give no indication of the risk, other than "that's a wood floor, it might squeak" unfortunately in some maps 90% of the floors are wood floors, so that's not a good indication either.

Stuff like twigs and broken glass I do want to have sounds for, but you can see this stuff and avoid it if you're being careful. That sytem rewards being careful, just like taking a few moments to watch the guards patrolling while you plan your next move. In T2 all of the floor traps usually had some slight texture difference too so that if you were careful, look around and see 3 arrow launchers and a slightly different patch of color on the floor, you can get around that trap. Do you see a theme here? The T2 designers could have said "I'm going to make a death trap with no warning, because those exist in real life," but they didn't. The game rewards you if you're careful and plan ahead, like a real thief would. Squeaky boards with no visible indication are like a "noise trap" with no indication whatsoever. Realistic yes, fun, no.

#57 Ishtvan

Ishtvan

    Programmer

  • Development Role
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 14860 posts

Posted 20 May 2005 - 06:48 PM

Creaky floors shouldn't have to be something to constantly worry about on every wooden floor. With some common sense and good mapmaking, you should usually be able to see a creaky floor in the same way you can see an ambush or a trap. I'd love to see the rare occasion where a very well hidden creak can throw me out of my strategy, but they should be far more rare. As I said above, having to escape and come up with a new strategy 20 times in one map will get old fast.


I agree to that wholeheartedly. We can't stop mapmakers from making bad maps, just like we can't stop them from making deahtraps with no indication either, but if they want anyone to play their map they might want to avoid creaking without any warning too (because it is basically a "noise trap")

#58 Springheel

Springheel

    Creative Director (retired)

  • Admin
  • 37756 posts

Posted 20 May 2005 - 10:43 PM

What about random events that don't even impact the Thief but only provide active "wallpaper?"



We are implementing a system like this for our AI. They will sit on chairs, warm themselves by the fire, visit the latrine, stop to look out a window, etc. I think it will make our AI more believable than any stealth game yet. :)
TDM Missions:   A Score to Settle   *   A Reputation to Uphold   *   A New Job   *    A Matter of Hours
 
Video Series:   Springheel's Modules   *   Speedbuild Challenge   *   New Mappers Workshop  *   Building Traps

#59 obscurus

obscurus

    Advanced Member

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 723 posts

Posted 21 May 2005 - 01:54 AM

Even with AI randomness added in (which I am all for btw), it gives an approximate indication of when you should move, giving you a better chance than if you didn't pay attention at all and just ran around everywhere hoping not to run into a guard. Having boards that squeak with no warning give no indication of the risk, other than "that's a wood floor, it might squeak" unfortunately in some maps 90% of the floors are wood floors, so that's not a good indication either.

I don't see the problem personally, with an old wooden shack that is mostly creaky - after all there were levels in all thief games where there were large sections of floor made of entirely of marble/stone (think of the bank level in T2) or metal, and there was no randomness about it - everywhere you stepped was potentially a disaster, and it was a matter of waiting for AI to move out of earshot or careful placement of moss arrows and moving slowly and carefully in order to escape detection. You know from the beginning, "metal floor, better move carefully", and everyone knows that if one piece of marble is loud to walk on, probably every piece is (in RL, this wouldn't be the case, as there are other factors such as what is underneath the marble, what sort of shoes you are wearing and so on, that mean a stone or metal surface could be walked on quite silently - if I am barefoot I can (if I am patient) walk on stone tiles quietly enough to scare the crap out of my cat, and she has very good hearing).
Creaky boards should be a case of "hmm wooden floor, might be creaky in spots, be carefull", and they would not be as risky as walking on metal or marble in a big echoy hall. If that is too much for some people to handle, perhaps there could be 2 types of wooden floor texture, which the player could learn to distinguish after a while, one being creaky, the other not, but I would rather not do that myself. :)

As has already been pointed out, a good FM author will balance out the risks associated with walking surfaces by considerate AI placement, and giving thieves options for navigating hazards, not instantly dooming them to fending off 12 guards if they put one foot wrong.

I think of it like this: every feature you put in a game is like having a pallete of different coloured paints. It is up to the artist (map author) to use those colours available to him/her in a manner that is going to be aesthetically pleasing (=good, fun, challenging gameplay) to a reasonable majority of people. If someone wants to make a piece of modern art with just one big sploge of black in the middle of the canvas or a level where 20,000 guards swarm all over you as soon as you take a single step, that their choice, but they are unlikely to create something very popular. And just because someone makes an unplayable monstrosity with particular features does not mean you should deny everyone that feature, as someone will probably find a way to use it tastefully and sensibly (OK, Iknow you can't do everything, but I hope you get the idea).

As a level designer/mapper, I want the largest pallete of features available to me that I can get - I probably won't use all of them at once, but I don't want to be held back from trying something differnt and potentially very good :) just because no one else thinks it can be done....

Does that make sense? :)


PS, for those who are interested, creaky floorboards are most common in rooms that are heated - the heat dries out the timber, shrinking it, thereby allowing movement between individual panels of wood. Timber floors laid over solid concrete (floating floorboards) will not make as much noise as floorboards mounted on joists. Very tightly joined floorboards will be quieter than loose ones, so a rich nobleman's mansion would be expected to be less creaky than a crudely built shack...

So a thief in the know will treat the floorboards in front of the fireplace as being very creaky, those near the bathroom as less so, due to the humidity differences... you get the idea...

this page has some info about flooring, may be relevant...


Sorry for the looong post
DIYnot.com ;)

#60 FishFace

FishFace

    Member

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 230 posts

Posted 21 May 2005 - 05:57 AM

I think that if FM authors are going to follow such creaky-floor guidelines (more creaky in drier places, etc) then no-warning creaks would be far more permissible, as you're then still paid off for being observant. Such clues are pretty important - the player should be able to look at wooden/carpet floors and think "this area is more/less likely to creak" and act accordingly.
--
Somethin' fishy's goin' on here... Come on out, you taffer!

~The Fishy Taffer

#61 Ishtvan

Ishtvan

    Programmer

  • Development Role
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 14860 posts

Posted 21 May 2005 - 02:37 PM

Yeah, I'll just pull out the ole' humidity meter from my bag of equipment, or feel the moisture on my skin. Seriously how are you going to tell if it's more humid or not with a monitor/keyboard/mouse interface? Are the guards going to be walking around saying "damn this humidity!"

#62 FishFace

FishFace

    Member

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 230 posts

Posted 21 May 2005 - 04:22 PM

Bathrooms are colder and wetter than living rooms with fireplaces. Rooms on the outside of houses are colder than those inside, and rooms with any kind of heating will be drier and (obviously) warmer. Not a lot to it, really.
--
Somethin' fishy's goin' on here... Come on out, you taffer!

~The Fishy Taffer

#63 Ishtvan

Ishtvan

    Programmer

  • Development Role
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 14860 posts

Posted 21 May 2005 - 05:36 PM

Rooms on the outside of houses are colder than those inside, and rooms with any kind of heating will be drier and (obviously) warmer. Not a lot to it, really.

You're right, there's not a lot to those rules, which brings up the question of whether they're realistic.

As Obscurus mentioned, creaking is a complicated process that's due in part to having space between the boards, alowing them to move against eachother. So yes, that means if you heat a board and dry it out, causing uniform shrinkage of all boards, you'd get more creaking.

It also means if you warp some boards, you'll get creaking because the board edges are no longer flush with eachother. How do boards warp? Thermal stress and humidity cycles, for one. (Thermal expansion and contraction, as well as absorption of water and freezing of water after it's absorbed). If you live in a temperate climate, the rooms that are not climate controlled (ie, the "outside rooms" of the house that FishFace claims will not creak) are subject to the thermal and humidity cycles of the climate, which I would think would make them much more likely to warp over time than the inner rooms which are kept at a constant temperature and fairly dry humidity.

What else warps boards causing them to not fit together right? Water damage. Where can you get a lot of water damage? The bathroom.

Also I think the assumption of "bathroom wet, everywhere else dry" is an oversimplification. In medieval times they didn't always take baths in a bathtub in the bathroom. It seems they often drew a bath in a bedroom or something, steaming up the whole place and making it humid.

What if some room has poor insulation and it's been humid outside for months? The humid air would come in thru that room and diffuse thru the whole house, giving you a complicated humidity distribution.

As Obscurus pointed out, it also depends on how well the boards fit together when the place was constructed, and the actual stress distribution that you cause by stepping on the board depends on how the board is supported underneath, joists or solid floors (I don't even know if they had something like flat concrete floors below a wood floor in medieval/victorian times.. didn't they often use rough stone foundations?) Also the bending on the board depends on how far away from the joist you're standing, so if you stand right near the wall there should be less creaking, right?

@FishFace: You're replacing something that involves a lot of factors including the climate of the setting with some simple and unrealistic rules (bathroom doesn't creak, in front of fireplace especially creaks, everywhere that's heated, which could be the whole house, does creak).

I don't see how that is any different from using an equally unrealistic simple rule consisting of "boards that creak look slightly different from other boards if you look closely." When people are moving quickly, they naturally can't pay as much attention to detail in their environment. If the texture is very subtle, it will have the same effect that if you run carelessly thru a wood floored area, you're likely to hit a creaky board without seeing it.

Maybe in the creaky board texture you could actually make the "division line" between the boards wider there, so you can spot a board that's not as tightly fit in as it should be.

Edited by Ishtvan, 21 May 2005 - 05:43 PM.


#64 obscurus

obscurus

    Advanced Member

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 723 posts

Posted 21 May 2005 - 06:07 PM

As much as it pains me to admit, the world created in a computer game will allways be an oversimplification of reality (D'oh!). As Ishtvan correctly points out, it would be tremendously difficult to have a truly realistic representation of creaky floorboards.

But to not implement even a crude representaion is even less realistic.

Another factor I didn't mention is that good carpenters will match the humidity of the timber to be used on a floor to the expected humidity of the room in which they will be placed. You don't need a humidity meter to do this (although it helps), and carpenters have been doing this for hudreds of years - it is something carpenters learn through trial and error until they know intuitively what type of wood will best match a particular type of room (my grandfather was a carpenter all his life, I asked him a few questions about the subject).

If you want to have a simple texture difference for naked floorboards, how about making non-creaky[/] floorboards shiny and reflective - in a mansion with well polished floors, the floorboards will more likely be maintained well, and adjusted to fix creaks and squeaks from time to time by maintainence staff, while [B]creaky floorboards would be dull and unpolished - a floor that is very frequently used will be scuffed and worn, and floorboards will be looser from all the beating they take.

As for carpeted floors, well in mediaeval times, no one had wall to wall carpet, people had rugs, so you would be able to tell what floor type was underneath by looking at the floor around the edges of the rug, and act accordingly.

And while I'm on the subject, how about giving the thief different shoes? I mean, if I set out to rob some mansion with polished stone floors etc, I would wear very soft soled shoes (or no shoes at all) so I could walk over stone surfaces quietly. If you do this, the tables are turned - stone and metal floors become safe to walk on, wooden floors become risky! Could make for some intersting gameplay - halfway through a campaign, the player could acquire some special boots that make him quieter on previously loud surfaces, and he then only has to worry about wooden floors...

Taking this even further - give the thief the ability to remove his/her shoes, they can take thier shoes off to cross a loud stone floor quietly. But if they forget to put them on again outside, they will tread on (semi-)randomly placed thorns or broken glass, and take health damage. You could also have it so the thief can't interact with anything or use weapons while carrying his/her shoes, to balance things out a bit...

Edited by obscurus, 21 May 2005 - 06:13 PM.


#65 Maximius

Maximius

    Advanced Member

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 1239 posts

Posted 21 May 2005 - 07:30 PM

obscurus thats a neat idea. What about a pair of felt slippers, like overshoes? The Thief slips them on to cross loud surfaces like tile, grating, or hard wood silently, but there are limitations. They are fine for creeping or crouch walking but walking is slow in them and if you try to run you'll bust yur ass. And if you wear them outside or across stone for too long, they get ripped and you are screwed, so you have to baby them.

They are smooth on slick surfaces, think of sliding around in your socks as a kid. They would give the Thief a silent mode but with a cost: get caught while wearing them and chances are you are going to slip before you can make a break. A swordfight would be a grim joke. So they help you but you are vulnerable too. That gives them gameplay balance.

You could not climb in them, or mantle cause you slip so you have stop to take them off immediately after crossing the tile or whatever. This would take a second or two, just a little delay but its another slight drawback. ( I like tempering assets with drawbacks for Thief.) They would roll up nice and tight and fit into the Thiefs kit n/p. They wouldnt have to be mission dependent, because they would not be that super powerful like some heavy duty magic boots you have to earn in a quest, plus in RL thats what a Thief might very well do.

For me, something like this could do away with moss arrows forever. I dont mind moss arrows persay but the huge carpet of moss that is left behind should tell someone somthings up right away. This puts the silence on the Thiefs feet, but again with limitations, so hes not a silent ninja or something kooky.

#66 Springheel

Springheel

    Creative Director (retired)

  • Admin
  • 37756 posts

Posted 21 May 2005 - 08:15 PM

And while I'm on the subject, how about giving the thief different shoes? I mean, if I set out to rob some mansion with polished stone floors etc, I would wear very soft soled shoes



This isn't a new idea. But while the volume of the footsteps in the game may not be realistic, being able to move around without making any noise is no fun at all (as people saw with the crouch-movement in TDS).
TDM Missions:   A Score to Settle   *   A Reputation to Uphold   *   A New Job   *    A Matter of Hours
 
Video Series:   Springheel's Modules   *   Speedbuild Challenge   *   New Mappers Workshop  *   Building Traps

#67 Ishtvan

Ishtvan

    Programmer

  • Development Role
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 14860 posts

Posted 21 May 2005 - 08:21 PM

If you want to have a simple texture difference for naked floorboards, how about making non-creaky[/] floorboards shiny and reflective - in a mansion with well polished floors, the floorboards will more likely be maintained well, and adjusted to fix creaks and squeaks from time to time by maintainence staff, while [B]creaky floorboards would be dull and unpolished - a floor that is very frequently used will be scuffed and worn, and floorboards will be looser from all the beating they take.

As for carpeted floors, well in mediaeval times, no one had wall to wall carpet, people had rugs, so you would be able to tell what floor type was underneath by looking at the floor around the edges of the rug, and act accordingly.


Sounds good to me :D

#68 obscurus

obscurus

    Advanced Member

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 723 posts

Posted 21 May 2005 - 09:45 PM

This isn't a new idea. But while the volume of the footsteps in the game may not be realistic, being able to move around without making any noise is no fun at all (as people saw with the crouch-movement in TDS).

Springheel, Do you mean it wouldn't be fun because you couldn't hear yourself move? Or are you worried about a gameplay imbalance (or both)? I know TDS had some anomalies when you were in crouch mode, but my problem wasn't with the footsteps per se.. more the way you could exploit AI bugs.. And in T2 you could use creep combined with crouch and make no noise.... I didn't think it wasn't fun :unsure:

See Maximius' post - slippers or bare feet would be a realistic alternative to moss arrows, but would have disadvantages that balance out the gameplay.

It wouldn't bother me in the slightest if the footstep sounds were very quiet and you have to remember, the player is closer to the source of his/her footsteps that the AI would normally be, so while the player could hear their own footsteps, an AI 4 feet away could not. Lets say a player wearing slippers or no shoes makes a noise of 18db at 3 feet, that is quiet enough that a guard would not notice, and the player could just hear (that would be fairly realistic I think, but you would have to measure the SPL of footsteps in a variety of conditions to provide the basis of a realistic model).

On that note, guards should be able to hear you breathing if you are close to them and have been running for a certain amount of time, as running should make you puffed. The game Gore had a system where if you ran continuously for a while your energy levels dropped, and you had to slow down, I thought it worked quite well - couple that with breathing sound levels and I think there is another way that a bit of challenge can be introduced into the game... Of course, the thief should have more endurance and speed than guards though, or it would suck.

#69 Springheel

Springheel

    Creative Director (retired)

  • Admin
  • 37756 posts

Posted 21 May 2005 - 09:51 PM

Springheel, Do you mean it wouldn't be fun because you couldn't hear yourself move? Or are you worried about a gameplay imbalance (or both)? I know TDS had some anomalies when you were in crouch mode, but my problem wasn't with the footsteps per se.. more the way you could exploit AI bugs.. And in T2 you could use creep combined with crouch and make no noise.... I didn't think it wasn't fun


It's unbalancing in terms of gameplay if you can move around without the AI hearing you. In T2 you could never walk totally silently on most surfaces (unless you used the tap forward bug).

game Gore had a system where if you ran continuously for a while your energy levels dropped, and you had to slow down,


We had considered a fatigue system like this for a while, but ultimately changed our minds. It just turned into more hassle than it would be worth.
TDM Missions:   A Score to Settle   *   A Reputation to Uphold   *   A New Job   *    A Matter of Hours
 
Video Series:   Springheel's Modules   *   Speedbuild Challenge   *   New Mappers Workshop  *   Building Traps

#70 obscurus

obscurus

    Advanced Member

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 723 posts

Posted 21 May 2005 - 10:28 PM

I'm not suggesting AI can't hear you, just that they would have to be very close to you to hear you. Actually, the AI in thief 2 could not hear you at all on moss or grass, unless perhaps you were runnig?? (I'm going to play through a few levels to check this).

I am suggesting that wearing slippers or going barefoot would be a quiet as walking on moss or carpet.

Now that I think about it, in the first level of T:TDP, I used to run at full speed along the corridors where there were sections of carpet separated by tiles, and jump right behind the guards, and they never heard me... I am pretty sure that although you can hear footstep sounds associated with walking on moss, the AI can't hear you. And I'm not talking about the tap forward bug, either.

It would NOT be unbalancing if it has risks of its own, that is the definition of balance in gameplay - risks balanced with rewards. Wearing slippers would have risks associated (see maximius'post) that would mean that you have to weigh up the BALANCE of whether or not it is worth the risk of putting on slippers to sneak through a room, knowing that if you are caught in that state you will be in a royal pickle..
:)

#71 Ishtvan

Ishtvan

    Programmer

  • Development Role
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 14860 posts

Posted 21 May 2005 - 10:32 PM

In terms of setting a volume for propagated footsteps: AI sound propagation volumes are handled completely separately from the audible volume of sounds in our system.

Games necessarily have to balance the volumes you can hear in an unrealistic way. Otherwise the explosion of a fire arrow or mine right in front of you would blow out your speakers and cause you to bleed from the ears like it would in RL :)

Footsteps the player hears are amped up from what they would realistically be so that the player can hear when they take a footstep (since they can't feel it of course), and also get a sense of how loud they're being on different materials, when in fact a lot of those sound would really be on the threshold of human hearing and impossible to hear over the ambient music for example. That's why, IMO, Garrett wore "tap shoes."

When it comes to the sound volume as perceived by AI though, we have complete freedom to set that to whatever value we want. I've been playing around with some values and found that using realistic volumes as a basis is good, but they have to be tweaked slightly until they "feel right," because we don't perceive distances right in a game. (Also I had to "guestimate" even the realistic volumes because no one with a sound meter has volunteered to measure footsteps for me :P )

I could be wrong, but I think that due to perspective distortion, distances appear closer than they actually are when compressing an FOV of 180 degrees down to 90 degrees on your monitor. So when you look at a guard and it looks like they're 1m away from you, they may actually be 1.5m away, which makes a big difference in determining whether a sound you make is above their threshold of hearing, in the SPL [dB] = SWL [dB] - ( 20*log(distance [m]) + 8 ) calculation for a hemi-free field, spherical spreading.

If you're curious, the current levels, which are calibrated for walking on a rough stone surface (like normal stone floor, not a loud marble/tile floor) are (in SWL):

Walking step: 45 dB
Running or crouch-running step: 50 dB
Creeping step: 36 dB
Crouch-walk step: 41 dB
Crouch-Creep step: 35 dB

So if the crouch-creep step goes 1m, that gives you an SPL @1m of 28 dB. This might seem high compared to reality, but then you actually need to see how this distance looks ingame, and remember the distance is calculated from your feet to the AI's head. The effect of that number ingame is that AI only notice when you're crouch-creeping right next to them (almost about to collide with them).

Of course the volumes will change depending on the surface, probably equal or a bit softer on wood (neglecting the dreaded creaking), much softer on carpet, much louder on marble or tile, etc.

Also these numbers are subject to change and not at all set in stone.

Edited by Ishtvan, 21 May 2005 - 10:37 PM.


#72 obscurus

obscurus

    Advanced Member

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 723 posts

Posted 22 May 2005 - 01:13 AM

All make perfect sense Ishtvan, I can't wait to experience the Dark Mod in action. Of course, I am gonna have to buy Doom 3 soon :lol:

Out of curiosity, do you think having a dual monitor set up or widescreen monitor and setting FOV to 180 would work? I have been wondering about the posibility of a more accurate representation of FOV for a while now, but it looks like having surround monitors might be possible (even maybe practical) in the near(ish) future... If only the matrox parhelia had decent 3d performance...

#73 Ishtvan

Ishtvan

    Programmer

  • Development Role
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 14860 posts

Posted 22 May 2005 - 01:17 AM

I dunno, don't have any experience with dual monitors personally. I think Renzatic has played with the widescreen resolution in the past, not sure if you can change the FOV though.

#74 sparhawk

sparhawk

    Repository Manager

  • Active Developer
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 21776 posts

Posted 22 May 2005 - 03:27 AM

Even with AI randomness added in (which I am all for btw), it gives an approximate indication of when you should move, giving you a better chance than if you didn't pay attention at all and just ran around everywhere hoping not to run into a guard.  Having boards that squeak with no warning give no indication of the risk, other than "that's a wood floor, it might squeak" unfortunately in some maps 90% of the floors are wood floors, so that's not a good indication either.


I don"t really see big difference between
"that's a wood floor, it might squeak"
and
"that's a guard facing away, it might turn around any moment"
Gerhard

#75 sparhawk

sparhawk

    Repository Manager

  • Active Developer
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 21776 posts

Posted 22 May 2005 - 03:30 AM

Are the guards going to be walking around saying "damn this humidity!"

In RL you also don't do this, so why would our AI do this? Because we want a TDM version to please the XBoxers?
Gerhard




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users